Working to Find Ways to Help Oshawa GM Workers
QUEENS PARK – Today, Premier Doug Ford and Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, sat down with Unifor president Jerry Dias to discuss ways to help the thousands of workers affected by the recently announced GM plant closure in Oshawa.
The men had a very constructive dialogue and discussed how they can work together to keep and create good manufacturing jobs in Ontario.
“Workers are the backbone of our economy and Ontario has the very best in the world,” said Ford. “Creating good-paying jobs for the hardworking people of Ontario will continue to be my top priority as I engage with the auto industry in Detroit this week.”
Unifor held a rally on Friday protesting the General Motors plant closure.
“Thousands of us stood today to oppose GM’s callous decision to devastate workers and their families, the community of Oshawa and the Canadian economy – not because they have to but because they choose to,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “General Motors has gone too far. The investors need to understand the terrible consequences of what GM is doing on their behalf.”
More than two thousand people attended the Windsor rally, held directly across the border from GM’s headquarters in Detroit, to protest GM’s expansion into Mexico while the company pulls manufacturing and jobs from Canada and the U.S.
GM announced that it intends to close the Oshawa Assembly at the end of the year, even though it concedes that it would not hurt its bottom line to maintain the plant. Four American facilities were also targeted for closure. GM was the top-selling manufacturer in both Canada and the U.S. last year, raking in $6 billion in profits during the first nine months of 2018, up four-and-a-half times from the previous year.
“I understand that everyone wants a fair return on their investment but people and institutional investors have a choice to make,” said Dias. “Can they sleep at night knowing they back a corporation that is trampling over their fellow Canadians and Americans to rake in excessive profit by paying exploitive wages of $2 bucks an hour in Mexico?”